Musashi Miyamoto, one of Japan’s most famous and cherished historical figures, once said, “Perceive that which the eye cannot see.” Culture Day is the perfect opportunity to give this sentence a little more serious thought.

Culture Day (文化の日) is celebrated every year on November 3. It was first observed in 1968 as a day to honor the birthday of the reigning Emperor Meiji. It is recognized as the nation’s yearly celebration of traditional Japanese culture and the ideals of freedom and peace. On this day, several museums across the country offer free admission to let people learn more about Japanese history and culture. Everyone is encouraged to participate in the festivals held in different prefectures of Japan. The main event of Culture Day is the Order of Culture Award Ceremony, which takes place at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. It is a Japanese medal awarded to distinguished individuals in sectors such as science, technology, academics, and the arts for contributing to the advancement of Japanese culture. The prize recipients are greeted personally by the Emperor, who also gives them certificates of appreciation.

Culture offers us a sense of belonging and is a reflection of a society or a country. It has been a part of our lives for many generations and will continue to be for a very long time.